Incubating chicken eggs : the questions you have clarified.

January 17, 2018 | By alex | Filed in: How to Raise Chickens Some Questions and Answers.

The fundamental equipment you will need without having your personal broody hen is fairly simple – a man-made incubator and some type of light for candling – which may be as easy as a flash light. 

You need to be cautious though about space, both to place incubator and much more specifically for your chicks once they hatch.  They grow unbelievably rapidly and will also be flying within two days of hatch.

Being a hatch-a-holic I’ve several items – but you do not need that lots of!

My incubating equipment.

What’s an incubator?

An incubator is really a machine – a man-made method of keeping eggs in the right humidity and temperature until they hatch.  There are many differing types, in the homemade to manual, semi-automatic and fully automated.

What’s candling?

Candling is holding a powerful light to eggs to determine whether they are fertile, and also to observe how well fertile eggs are developing with the incubating period.

It is a fascinating process.  If you wish to understand how to get it done and things to look for, take a look at this on candling.

Exactly what does "setting" mean?

Setting is simply another word for putting eggs into an incubator or within broody hen.  Typically chicks which hatch within waxing moon – then the moon keeps growing – is going to be bigger and healthier than individuals hatching once the moon is waning or growing smaller sized, so they must be set a 3 week period before there is a new moon.

Obviously, there is no scientific grounds for this …

My Octagon 20 incubator, set with a mixture of chicken breeds.

A mix of different chicken breed eggs set into my Octagon 20 incubator.

What age can chicken eggs be once they enter in the incubator?

I have effectively incubated eggs once they were approximately three days old, but that is very unusual.  It’s generally easier to have them into an incubator as quickly as possible after they have been laid, getting given them an opportunity to be ‘rested’ for any couple of hrs first.

There’s more here is how to find the right eggs for incubation only at that page.

What is the ideal temperature for incubating chicken eggs?

The temperature must be consistent at 37.5ºC (99ºF) within an incubator with a fan, greater (38 – 39ºC, 102ºF) inside a still air incubator.  Whether it drops below that for some time it isn’t the finish around the globe – the chicks are simply prone to hatch just a little later.

Most contemporary incubators possess a digital read-from temperature.

Modern incubators have a digital temperature read-out.

If you are unlucky enough with an electricity cut while you are

incubating keep the incubator closed, wrap it in something warm – a

blanket or quilt is nice – and hope the ability returns fairly

rapidly.  Whether it does, the probability is your eggs is going to be fine.

However when the temperature increases it’s more dangerous – the embryos will not have the ability to survive a elevated temperature.

And humidity?

Humidity levels are important to a effective hatch.  It must be consistent at 45% until ‘lockdown’ at day 18, when it ought to be elevated to 65%.  Lacking and also the chicks may have trouble hatching.  Excessive and there is a real danger they’ll drown or otherwise ‘fluff out’ correctly after hatch.

Chicks are extremely wet once they hatch and want to fluff to keep warm.


Do You Have Fertile Chicken Eggs For The Incubator?


Danny Boel: hangry ;)

Appalachia's Homestead with Patara: Haha! For real. ;-)

Jandy Prins: I have been known to be "hangry" once or twice.

Dinos Makris: You have a nice singing voice!!!!

Jandy Prins: I bought some "shipped" eggs on EBay and the first batch were all duds that did not develop. Some broke during shipping so I knew they were handled badly. 2 days later I added a second batch from a different seller and these are developing nicely now at 7 days. So excited about being a chicken momma too! It's wonderful for my kids as well.

Simple Creations: Jandy Prins we can buys eggs from eBay?!?! I learn something new today

Jandy Prins: Yes can you believe it? They are already fertilized and ready for the incubator. You can pick what kind of chicken breed etc. The kids and I are enjoying the process together.

mllee2008: OK, I do not have chickens. So, if you have roosters how do you know which eggs you can sell to people to eat? How do you know you're not giving someone a fertilized egg when all they wanted was eggs to cook with?

mllee2008: Albany Mountain homestead \nOK, thanks for answering me. Have a great weekend!

Albany Mountain homestead: You too

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